JCF is proud to oversee multiple Advisory Council Funds, each working to improve our community through its own mission. JCF manages and invests the assets of these funds, and provides guidance and assistance with grant management and stewardship.
Each Advisory Council acts as a collective philanthropic advisor, enabling like-minded individuals to pursue their mission via programming or by awarding grants and scholarships. Giving together magnifies the power of philanthropy, and our impact on the Jewish community in Greater MetroWest, Israel, and around the world.
Established in 2007, the Greater MetroWest Day School Community Fund
supports and promotes academic excellence, affordability, collaboration, and long-term sustainability in day school education, specifically at the Golda Och Academy, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, and the Hebrew Academy of Morris County. Through various efforts our community also supports the Jewish Educational Center.
Overseen by the Day School Advisory Council of JCF, this Community Fund is part of the Day School Initiative, which works to enhance and secure Jewish day school education through building significant endowments while supporting investments in affordability and excellence today.
Founded in 2009, the Greater MetroWest Jewish Camp Fund supports the Greater MetroWest Jewish Camp Enterprise, which works to increase the number of local children attending Jewish overnight camp and broaden support for Jewish camp across the community. Studies show that young people who spend summers at Jewish overnight camp are significantly more likely to become committed and engaged Jewish adults, laying the groundwork for strong Jewish communities. Since the start of the Enterprise, the number of local children attending Jewish overnight camp each summer has jumped 26 percent—well ahead of the national increase of 10 percent (during the same time).
The Greater MetroWest Jewish Camp Enterprise is headquartered at The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life, Federation’s Jewish identity-building agency. The Council has supported the hiring of a full-time camp “manager” to help families find the best Jewish camp for their children, provided over 1,000 one-time incentive grants of $1,000 to families new to Jewish overnight camp, and developed a robust marketing campaign, including the website www.onehappycamperNJ.org. The Council works in conjunction with the Foundation for Jewish Camp and has partnered with The Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy to better educate Jewish camps on fundraising and outreach strategies.
The Grotta Fund for Senior Care (Grotta) was created in 2003 with the proceeds from the sale of the Theresa Grotta Center for Rehabilitative Services. Its mission is to fund programs that benefit older adults and their families and help them to age in place independently, safely, and with dignity.
Grotta is a recognized funder and catalyst of new and innovative programs, ranging from caregiving and home safety to case management and enrichment. Funding has expanded the use of nationally recognized evidence-based care for seniors and caregivers in our region, adding knowledge, strength, and empowerment to those living with chronic diseases and mental disorders. Since 2003, Grotta has awarded approximately $4 million in grants to agencies serving seniors living in Essex, Union, Morris, Sussex, and eastern Somerset County, NJ.
In addition to grantmaking, Grotta has spearheaded major initiatives to improve care for seniors as they transition from one care setting (e.g. hospital or home) to another, thereby reducing unnecessary rehospitalizations.
For more information or to apply for a grant, visit www.grottafund.org.
The Herb and Milly Iris Youth and Family Philanthropy Endowment Fund
perpetuates Mr. Iris’s extraordinary legacy of devotion and generosity to the Jewish community, and the ongoing work of Milly Iris and her family. The Fund supports various programs promoting activism, philanthropy and involvement of Jewish teens and their families: NU Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey Jewish News, written by and for Jewish teens; staff positions at The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life that enable broad programming in Jewish service learning; Write On For Israel, which teaches high school students Israel advocacy through the lens of journalism, and more.
The Fund’s signature program is Iris Teen Tzedakah, a two-year, hands-on program in which high school students study philanthropy and the Jewish
community. Students pool their own donations - which are matched by the Herb and Milly Iris Endowment - and allocate grants to Jewish organizations based on their passions and a collaborative grant-making process.
Since 2006, so-called “Iris Teens” have allocated more than $100,000 to Jewish organizations locally, in Israel, and around the world.
The Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey (JWF) was created in 2006 as a collaborative “hands-on” philanthropy, dedicated to the advancement of women and girls both locally and in Israel. JWF members include women of all ages and Jewish backgrounds, united by their Jewish values and shared passion for a world in which women and girls can live in healthy, supportive and safe environments with equal opportunity for economic, religious, social and political achievement. Recent funding cycles have addressed: preventing violence against women, supportive services for developmentally challenged women and girls, helping vulnerable women take charge of their health, and supporting high-risk female populations.
Membership dues create a funding pool from which innovative and evidence-based grants are made to qualified non-profit organizations (not individuals), each year. Organizations may be Jewish or secular. Projects must work to create and sustain programs and projects that benefit women and girls, allowing them to realize their full potential.
Each member has an equal voice in the grantmaking process and is encouraged to review applications and participate in on-site visits. JWF also provides education on vital issues affecting women and girls; engages in advocacy, and encourages new members.
The Ness Fund was established in 2005 by the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey though a significant bequest from the estate of Mack Ness, a farmer in Somerset County, NJ. (In 2013 the Ness Fund was moved to JCF as part of the merger between the Jewish Federations of Central and MetroWest NJ.)
Following Mr. Ness’ desire to help the people of Israel, the Ness Fund focuses its strategic grant making on economic development in the Negev region with an emphasis on attracting and maintaining a strong young adult population.
The Ness Fund is unique in that it is one of the only Jewish community endowment funds focused on the Negev, making substantial, multi-year grants while leveraging dollars and key partnerships to help ensure success. This has earned the Ness Fund and JCF a reputation for being a major player in the Negev area revitalization in a few short years.
The Ness Fund supports innovative projects from a wide range of Jewish and non-Jewish partner agencies, including non-profit and government agencies, cultural/arts organizations, and businesses.
Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey also established the Ness Business Loan Fund of the Negev as a memorial to Mack Ness in Israel. A separate entity from the Ness Fund, the Business Loan Fund is owned and operated by JAFI (The Jewish Agency) and overseen by an advisory committee. The Ness Business Loan Fund makes low-interest loans to small business owners throughout the Negev, further encouraging economic development throughout the region.
Established in 1997, this Fund honors the memory of Mr. Rubell, a Holocaust survivor, and works to foster tolerance and other lessons of the Holocaust by producing Remembrance Journeys. The Remembrance Journeys bring NJ high school students and teachers of all races and religions to the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for a one-day intensive learning experience with Holocaust survivors.
To date, over 50 schools, 2,800 New Jersey students, 230 educators, and 8 survivors have participated in these trips and annual educational symposia to further the students’ learning.
By working with a large volunteer committee to produce an annual Holocaust Remembrance Service at local houses of worship, this Fund promotes awareness and strengthens interfaith understanding in the South Orange/Maplewood community. Held for over 30 years, this community event is attended by hundreds of residents and includes Holocaust survivors, second- and third-generation families, clergy, and community and state dignitaries.